From Albuquerque to Kurdistan

Thanks to everyone who reminded me to bring things, next time please remind me OVER AND OVER to bring my iPod and camera. Yes, I forgot those. Thank God there is music online and other interns who are amazing photographers (and generous with their extra cameras that I can borrow). Thankfully those are the only items I forgot (I think).

All of my flights were extremely stress- free. Thank you for all of the prayers, I definitely felt them while the plane was taking off and landing. When I landed in Chicago I walked around the airport for a while before heading to the gate to meet the three guy interns. As I was walking to the gate I realized I really had very little idea what these guys looked like, thankfully I don’t think anyone realized me staring at them as I tried to connect Facebook pictures with real- life. While waiting for a semi- familiar face I went on Facebook to see if any of them had updated their status to “In Chicago.” Nope, no one had updated their status to that, instead one of the interns updated their status to “Flight schedule rearranged due to delays because of the weather in OKC. Now going through Amsterdam! Prayers much appreciated.”  I was a little concerned about this status (especially since he had important things to give a few of the interns in Chicago). I waited, slightly more nervous than before, there for about half an hour before seeing Ben, another intern arrived. We introduced ourselves and not long after the boarding call was announced. We saw Anton, the third intern at O’Hare, but didn’t get to meet him until we were all on the plane. After landing in Frankfurt we got to know each other a little bit more and met Adam (the new wolf to our wolf pack). The flight to Istanbul was relatively quick and painless. We got our Turkey visas and strolled through customs- literally strolled, we didn’t even stop. Then we waited at a coffee shop (Gloria Jean’s Coffee) for the other two guys. Ryan (and yes I say his name normally and not Ryyyyan like Maci in Teen Mom would say, well not yet anyways) came and waited with us for the last guy to arrive. I asked probably about a million (slight exaggeration here) questions. I was so relived that these guys were so comfortable to be around, but that might have something to do with the 24 hours of flying, no sleep, and a tired, slightly loopy Liz. After a hour or so Ted arrived (Ted was the guy who was suppose to meet us in Chicago). The 5 guys (ha ha 5 guys) and I went to go find our shuttle, waiting for the shuttle for a while, and then embarked on a fun, foreign bus adventure. Istanbul drivers are more adventurous than Guatemalan drivers, but I am thrilled to say they have nothing on Korean taxis. The drive from the airport should have taken about 15 mins, but after about an hour and a half we were finally at the hotel (I enjoyed the drive because we got to see some of the city). We pretty much threw our luggage in our hotel rooms (I had my own) and then took off to see the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, get dinner, and walk around a bit. Let me say this, if you are ever in Istanbul you should go with 5 guys (and take me please I want to go back)! We went back to the hotel, slept (well at least I did), got up to make the 6:00 am shuttle, arrived at the airport, checked in, flew to Erbil- the capital of Kurdistan!
I will update more on the drive to Suly, the first night, the house, the guys, ect later!
Thanks so much for the prayers!
Love from Iraq,

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